Often when I use a pencil sharpener a lot, the pencil shavings and lead gets jammed in the sharpener part. What's an efficient way of cleaning it out?

2 Answers 2


I assume you mean a conventional compact manually-operated prism sharpener like this:

compact manually-operated prism sharpener
Thanks Asim18 at Wikipedia!

To remove anything lodged between the blade and casing, use a thin metal instrument (like the tip of a mechanical pencil, or back of a hobby knife). Put it in the slit between the blade and casing, and use it to push stuff out toward the opening.

To remove any left-over dirt inside the cone, put a piece of tissue or toilet paper over the end of a pencil, and "sharpen" it anti-clockwise (the opposite direction compared to the usual sharpening motion, to avoid tearing the tissue). If the dirt is sticky (e.g. some fool tried to sharpen an oil-based crayon), try isopropanol.


stand over trash can,and very carefully remove cover (if any), to expose sharpening blades.Use an old toothbrush,and brush free any wood shavings from the sharpening blades.

  • i would like to know why my anwer was demoted Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 4:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.